Monday, April 7, 2008

Random thoughts about Ulysses

The focus of Joyce's Ulysses is for the most part surrounded by men. The only mention of women usually is wrapped up in negative or sad connotations. Molly is viewed as a sexy seductress who is cheating on her husband (for reasons that have not been fully explained); however, the reader cannot help but sympathize with Bloom over Molly. Despite the fact that Bloom is corresponding with another woman and staring down random women walking down the street, the reader stills continues to view Bloom as more of the victim. Joyce never lets us into Molly's head; thus, there is no true justification for her actions. She never gets a chance to explain herself or express her feelings. The reader is only exposed to a one-sided story.

Outside of Molly, Stephen's sisters are the only other female characters that we get to spend time with. Nevetheless, Joyce only provides the reader with a snippet into their lives. He momentarily acknowledges their dire situation and how they are struggling for funds, but he does not spend much time dwelling on the issues. Instead, he returns to Stephen and Bloom's inner struggles. The female characters in Ulysses are much more two dimensional than the male characters. Joyce does not take the same amount of care and time to illuminate the novel's female figures. He chooses to leave them as peripheral figures in his 24 hour novel. Nevertheless, it would have been interesting if Joyce had documented Molly's side of the story in order to create a contrast with Bloom's version. I think it would have been cool if he had created a chapter where he documented Bloom's and Molly's consciousness simultaneously while they were in the same place experiencing the same event.

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